One step back and two steps side-ways: A couple of times during the life of this weblog (here and here), I’ve scrtached my head over a technology I truly don’t get (as a user): approaches that offer a PDF-based (or PDF-like) adaptation of a print publication, so-called “e-editions” of a newspaper or magazine. (Those earlier posts detail why I’m perplexed by them.)
In an article on Slate.com earlier this week, Jack Shafer reviews the concept and some of the players in this arena and echoes some of the doubts I raised in my earlier posts.
For a sense of how poorly the facsimile of a broadsheet newspaper translates onto a computer screen, imagine reading a newspaper through a six-pane colonial window in which five of the panes have been blacked out. I haven’t had this sort of tunnel vision while reading since the last time I endured newspaper microfilm at the city library. (I feel the same way, only less so, about the Webified magazines in the Zinio format.)